FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 9, 2020
Louis Zeller (336) 982-2691
Charles Utley (706) 772-5558
Group Finds Catch-22 in Georgia's Plant Vogtle License Changes
Legal Appeal Filed Sept. 4
Today residents of the Shell Bluff community and the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League announced that they had filed a legal appeal of the license changes granted last month to the owners of Plant Vogtle. In an eight-page brief filed on Friday, the opponents of the license identified a "Catch-22" process used by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Louis A. Zeller, BREDL's Executive Director who filed the appeal, said that the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board had improperly dismissed its case. In his argument, Zeller charged: "The [Atomic Safety and Licensing Board] admitted that BREDL is entitled to access all information relied upon by the NRC Staff in accepting a license amendment request., agreed that BREDL was denied that access, and yet instead of judicially upholding the fundamental fairness requirement imposed by NRC procedure, committed a gross injustice." The full Nuclear Regulatory Commission must now rule on BREDL's appeal.
In February Southern Nuclear operating Company requested a license amendment from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, seeking to reduce safety margins by narrowing what it called the "seismic gap" between Vogtle's Unit 3 nuclear island and adjacent concrete buildings. The company's February 7 request asked the NRC for permission to depart from the standard safety analysis.
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League is a grassroots organization with projects in six states. Its local chapter Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff supported the legal action with necessary affidavits of support.
The May 11 legal petition and expert analysis
Sept. 4 appeal